Saturday, 15 March 2008

Level up!

Now this is a game I really liked (despite being impossibly hard at times), mainly because it's so similar to one of my favourite shmups ever, DoDonpachi (which I'm also going to talk about in a future post), both in the way that your weapons get ridiculously powerful and the way that sometimes you can see more enemies an bullets in the sky than clear background, which is never a good sign...

The game doesn't start like this, though. At first there's only 2 or 3 enemies at a time on the screen and few more bullets (or "glowing shit that kills ya", as I like to call them), fair enough since you start with what looks like a pea-shooter, but fear not, for soon enough things will heat up, too much in my humble opinion. See, after Psikyo's shooter, I started to get used to beating these kind of games, and then comes Battle Garegga and Batsugun to crush my dreams into the ground...

Yup, I couldn't finish the god-damn game. The first time I played it I died as early as stage 3, I think, but during my 2nd try I was really motivated, since I was able to reach the stage 5 boss without using even one credit! Then the guy took away my last life and made me use one... "No big deal", I though, "I still have 6 credits, it should be enough to end this game". Oh, how I was wrong... I was able to reach stage 7 and that was it... But I'd seen this coming, since in the options menu there's only 4 difficulty levels. Anyway, here I am rambling about it's difficulty without even talking of other important things, like the level ups, for example!

You see, in this game you don't just pick up power-ups to upgrade your weapon, you also level up by destroying enemies, and you level up to the point of, whenever you fire your weapon, half of the screen gets filled with your shots! It looks like the end of the world as come and you're one of the 4 horsemen! But don't get too confident, for these level-ups don't make your ship more resistant to enemy fire, and although you're able to finish them off more quickly, they usually still have time to shoot all kinds of "bright balls of death" towards you.

On the extras department, there's not much here. You can choose between the arcade version of the game or a "special version" (can't remember what it was called exactly), but the only difference I noted was some minor graphical changes on the backgrounds. I can be wrong, though, so maybe there's more to it than that. Talking about the backgrounds, most people complain about the game's graphics, but I got to be honest, they look really good to me, not so much from a technical point of view, but more from an artistic one. There are beautiful and pretty original stages, like the first one, set underwater, or the (if I remember correctly), 2nd one, set on a beach. Also, the enemy ships explode kind of nice, and the boats even slowly sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Overall this was a pretty good experience that I would recommend to anyone, so don't get turned off by the high difficulty level or the, as other people say, "average graphics". Try it out if you're a fan of the Donpachi series.

Elend, I know that you have this one, so share your thoughts about it with us :)


elend said...

Oh, I LOVE Batsugun! One of my favourite Shmups on the Saturn. I like the music, the graphics, the amount of bullets, the general feel of it. Just everything. It's quite similiar to Do Don Pachi, because Ex-Toaplan guys went on and created Cave.

fatherkrishna said...

Have you gone on a spending spree Nebacha or are you playing all these lovely shmups (shumps?) on an emulator?

Loving all this Junkyard action and lovely videos... Good work fella!

NebachadnezzaR said...

As you surely know by now my financial situation is incompatible with expensive imports... :/

The emulation scene, from what I hear, is pretty advanced these days, but for me there's nothing like playing in the original hardware, so no, I haven't played them on emulators but on my real Saturn.